Shalom Life | October 04, 2014

NYC Coffee Shop Owner Calls Jews "Greedy Infiltrators", Loves Roseanne Barr

A Bushwick coffee shop owner takes to Instagram to rant about Jews infilrating his neighbourhood

By: Sara Torvik

Published: October 3rd, 2014 in Culture » Society » News

If you’re Jewish and find yourself in Bushwick, New York, you might want to stay away from The Bushwick Coffee Shop owned by Michael Avila. Avila recently took to his Instagram account to complain about what he calls greedy Jewish “infiltrators” to the neighbourhood. He claims that his rant came from a well-intentioned place and that he never meant to hurt anybody, but was instead fuelled by customers complaining about housing prices in Brooklyn.

The post in question, which has been making the rounds on the internet, targeted to Jewish men specifically who were visiting from Israel and thinking about buying a building next door to Avila’s coffee shop. The two men were, in Avila’s words, “cold and rude” and he said the incident is what lead him to blame Jewish people at large for ruining the neighbourhood and it’s up and coming feel.

“Ok, what I REALLY want to talk about is how to consider the Jews (oh yes, let’s talk about it) who want a piece or all of Bushwick function via greed and dominance,” he wrote.

“Bushwick IS rising and progressing, and bettering, but us contributing or just appreciating this rise and over all positive change do not want to be lumped with greedy infiltrators.”

But not everyone agreed with Avila’s perspective. Several people left comments criticising his as being bigoted and ignorant.

“Don’t you realize that this is incredibly racist?” one user wrote. “Generalize all you want, but acknowledge that you are a bigot. Bigoted thinking is not going to make Brooklyn better.”

Someone else chimed in with, “As a young Jewish adult yes, I’m Jewish. I may not be religious or practicing, but I’m proud to say that it’s part of my identit, I can say with absolute certainty that the money-grubbing, over-reaching, overzealous people make up a VERY SMALL part of Judaism.”

Avila eventually admitted that he was generalizing but still someone managed to make things worse by singling out his own race.

“As a Hispanic I’m fine calling out any stereotypical [bulls--t] they can’t let go of,” he wrote.

And just as icing on the cake, he later posted two videos of Jews he’s “in love with,” which included comedian Roseanne Barr and a YouTube video that features Jews against Zionism, to prove to the masses that he is not “bigoted.”

Whether or not that’s true is up for individuals to decide, but Avila insists that he did not intend to single out Jewish people and that it could have been anyone.

“It tends to be a lot of Jewish people who are buying buildings here and then turning them into luxury condos, but it could apply to anyone of any race who is trying to be manipulate and self serving,” he said Thursday, and added “I apologize for any feelings that I may have hurt. I love Bushwick and I hope it continues to love me back.”

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